Original Publication Date: 1992
Ghostwriter? No, Ann wrote this one herself
Stacey finds herself stuck in the middle again. Her parents both need her: her dad has gotten a huge promotion (to vice president of his company) and is being honored at a celebratory dinner. Her mom comes down with pneumonia pretty bad, and needs help. Stacey at first plans to stay home with her mom, but is torn because she did commit to her dad's dinner before her mom got sick, and it is very important to him. She eventually decides to go to New York for just one day and arrange for her mom's friends to check in on her. At the same time, her dad has arranged a nurse service to care for her mom, which causes scheduling confusion. Stacey is stretched too thin to do a good job, essentially. Her parents commiserate when she explains, though. And more good news: her mom is very close to getting a job at Bellair's department store.
Meanwhile, several BSC charges get suckered into buying trinkets from mail-order magazines. They soon realize that the items either don't work well or aren't necessary (or both) and that they'd rather have yo-yos to play with. So they put on a traveling salesmen show to try to offload their stuff. They sell very little, but some parents give them spare change for their performances, and they're able to buy the yo-yos. Hooray, I guess.
Established or continued in this book:
The Girls (and Logan):
Claudia candy: none mentioned
Stacey and Sam Thomas have a date...
When Stacey calls her dad, she says, "Hi, Dad. It's me, Stacey." How many other people call him "Dad" anyway?
Though Stacey's parents haven't done a stellar job in helping her deal with their divorce, I do give her dad points for having a bedroom for her as the non-custodial parent. I know a woman whose ex-husband has air mattresses for their two daughters that he sets up in the living room when they spend the weekend at his place. They've been divorced for about three or four years.
Dee is just the nickname Stacey's mom has given Mrs. Pike; it's not really her first name.
Mary Anne's mom showed up to watch Stacey's mom. That...can't be a good sign.
The Club: nothing new
Mrs. Downey is still the school secretary and Mr. Zizmore is still Stacey's math teacher.
If you have to tell a person that her loved one is the hospital or had an accident, start with "Your mom is fine, but..." I still remember my heart skipping a beat when my friend's mom had to give me a ride home from something because someone had rear-ended my mom. She said, "Your mom's been in an accident." Then she said NOTHING until I caught my breath and asked how she was. "Your mom? Oh, she's fine. I just need to give you a ride home."
I like that school started two books ago, and that Stacey mentions it being autumn.
This is the first appearance of the Rosebud Cafe.
Stacey has an impossible math problem on her test: x=3y+4. You can't solve for two unknowns with just one equation.
Starting 8th grade: 4
Halloweens in 8th grade: 2 (plus one in seventh)
Valentine's Days in 8th grade: 2
Summers after 8th grade: 3
BSC Fights: 7
SMS Staff: 29
Students (other than the BSC): 85; 60 8th graders, 2 7th grader, 11 sixth-graders, 11 unspecified
Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 62 (bonbons, bubble gum, Butterfingers, butterscotch candy, candy hearts, Cheese Doodles, Cheetos, a chocolate bar, chocolate-covered cherries, chocolate marshmallow cookies, Chunky bar, cookies, Cracker Jacks, crackers (unspecified and whole wheat), cupcakes, dark-chocolate caramels, Ding-Dongs, Doritos, Fig Newtons, Fritos, fruit pie, gumdrops, Gummi Bears (regular and sweet-n-sour), Heath bars, Hershey's kisses, Ho Hos, jawbreakers, jellybeans, Kit-Kats, licorice, licorice whips, Lifesavers, M&Ms (regular and peanut), Mallomars, malt balls, marshmallows, Mentos, Milky Ways, mini candy bars, Necco wafers, Oreos (Double Stuf and chocolate-dipped), Payday bars, Planter's Peanut bar, popcorn, potato chips, pretzels, pretzel sticks, red hots, Ring Dings, root beer barrels, salt water taffy, Snickers, taco chips, Tootsie Roll Pops, Tootsie Rolls, tortilla chips, Triscuits, Twinkies, Yodels)
Crushes: Claudia-8 (Guy, Terry, Austin Bentley, Timothy Carmody, Arthur Feingold, Woody Jefferson, Trevor Sandbourne, Will Yamakawa), Dawn-5 (Travis, Lewis Bruno, Parker Harris, Price Irving, Richie Magnesi), Mary Anne-2 (Alex, Logan Bruno), Stacey-7 (Toby, Kelsey Bauman, Pete Black, Ross Brown, Pierre D'Amboise, Scott Foley, Sam Thomas), Kristy-1 (Bart Taylor), Mallory-1 (Ben Hobart), Jessi-3 (Daniel, Curtis Shaller, Quint Walter)